Prevent 5 Common French Bulldog Illnesses

Prevent 5 Common French Bulldog Illnesses

A few simple steps on your part could mean more years of happy times with your dog. You are likely your dog’s primary health advocate, playing a critical role in your pet’s continued good health and long life.

Too often, illnesses and injuries that affect a dog’s health and even shorten its lifespan are easily preventable, say the experts. Yet it needn’t take great effort on your part to avoid these canine health problems. “That’s how most of life is,” says Dr. Tracy Dewhirst, a Knoxville, Tenn., veterinarian who writes regularly for The Knoxville News-Sentinel and Exceptional Canine. “We find ourselves in these predicaments sometimes when we could have easily done the right thing. Most of the common dog diseases can be avoided.”

Helping to Prevent Dog Illnesses

You can hopefully look forward to a number of years filled with games of fetch, rambles on the beach and other pleasures of dog companionship if you work to prevent these health problems, say Dewhirst and other veterinarians.

  • Heartworm
    “Heartworm tops the list,” says Dr. Duffy Jones, owner ofPeachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Atlanta. The heartworm is a parasite spread through the bite of mosquitoes. Heartworm disease, which affects the lungs and sometimes the heart, can be fatal if untreated. “Heartworm is such a devastating disease, and it can almost be totally prevented,” says Jones. Consistently administer a monthly preventative, such as Revolution, to protect your pooch, he advises. In the past, dog owners in cold-weather areas might not administer prevention during winter months. However, the disease is spreading, and it’s critical to treat your dog year-round. “Get the monthly Revolution and don’t worry about it,” he says.
  • GI Upset
    Your dog’s upset tummy is likely preventable, according to Dr. Katy J. Nelson, a veterinarian who hosts a local pet show on a Washington, D.C., TV station. “Pets’ GI tracts are not equipped to handle all sorts of different protein and carbohydrate sources as ours are,” explains Nelson. “We routinely eat high-fat, high-protein or sugar-loaded foods, though they might not be the healthiest options. Our pets, however, are accustomed to a more controlled diet.” Even the smallest morsels of people food can lead to anything from diarrhea to pancreatitis in your dog. Limit your dog’s diet to canine food.
  • Diabetes
  • Nelson considers this debilitating illness to be the No. 1 preventable disease in veterinary medicine. “Obesity is the predisposing factor to this awful disease, and the way to avoid it is to keep your pets slim and trim,” she says. Practice portion control as you feed your dog, and provide regular exercise. Diabetes can lead to multiple health problems for your dog, such as heart and kidney problems. “Weight is a big thing that contributes to disease, and it’s one of the things that owners can directly have some control over,” advises Dewhirst.
  • Dental Disease
  • Your dog’s dental health has implications throughout its body, notes Nelson. “Dental disease has been linked to heart disease, kidney and liver disease and even some cancers,” she says. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly, and ask your veterinarian for advice if you’ve never done this before. Regular veterinary exams will let you know when your dog’s teeth need cleaning.
  • Injuries and Trauma
  • Too many emergency veterinary visits could be avoided, says Dewhirst. Make sure fencing is secure if your dog spends time outdoors, and use a restraint, such as a leash, on outings. Dewhirst sees many traumas caused by dogs being bitten by other animals or injured while chasing cars. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help prevent injuries, says Nelson. Don’t engage in bursts of activity (e.g., weekend warrior outings), but look for steady, frequent exercise opportunities.
  • Take practical steps to prevent illness, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come, says Dewhirst. “Your dog will live into its geriatric years very healthy, mobile and happy.”

When Good French Bulldog Turn Bad

When Good French Bulldog Turn Bad

A dog’s bite may be worse than its bark — especially if the pooch isn’t feeling well. A new study has determined that dogs brought to a veterinary behavior clinic for biting children most often didn’t have a previous history of biting. The research, which was conducted by a team of experts from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, found that about half of the 111 dogs in the study had preexisting medical conditions that may have triggered the lash out.

These Medical ailments that triggered lashing out included hip dysplasia (and the associated arthritic pain), compromised vision, itchiness and ear pain, says one of the study’s authors, Ilana R. Reisner, DVM, PhD, DACVB, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Reisner cautions that the association between bad behavior and illness in half of the dogs in the study doesn’t imply that medical problems were the cause of the bad behavior. Some dogs are aggressive, and that needs to be treated as a behavioral issue. But veterinary experts say it’s quite common for canines that have never shown any aggressive traits to snap, bite and show other signs of agitation when they are ill — and particularly when they have chronic conditions.

Since your pet can’t speak, here’s how you can read the signs that something is physically wrong with your dog before it, too, may snap.

Signs That Your Dog Is Ill
Most people can recognize when a canine is sick to its stomach because it may leave behind telltale visible evidence, but other ailments are much harder to detect. In addition to physical symptoms, you should look out for behavioral signs. There are two main categories of behavior that can signal red flags:

  • Lethargy The most common indicator that a dog isn’t feeling well is not aggression — it’s depression, or lethargy, says Bonnie Beaver, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Medicine Association and a professor at Texas A&M University. “The most common changes would be where the dog becomes less active, doesn’t want to eat or eats less, tends to sleep more and tends to interact with the family less,” Dr. Beaver says. “This is a common sign associated with fever, although it can be the result of other things, too, such as an upset stomach.”
  • Aggression Another behavior that can be an indicator of a pet ailment is unusual aggression. In this sense, dogs have a lot in common with humans. “If I have a headache, I get grumpy. My fuse is shorter,” Dr. Beaver says. “We don’t know that dogs have headaches per se, but if they have a chronic pain, such as arthritis, or if they have an ear infection, they hurt. It eats at them. Their fuse is shorter, too.” Little things that would not have bothered your pooch in the past suddenly become transgressions that merit a growl or even a snap. This is particularly of concern if children are in the household. Many children tend to want to hug, pick up or be physical with the family pet. A growl or nip may be the dog saying, “Leave me alone,” says Dr. Beaver. But you should read these warning signs and take action before the interaction gets that far — or worse.

Steps To Prevent Bad Behavior
Many dogs would never bite, snap or growl at humans, Dr. Beaver says. Like numerous other behaviors, it depends on the individual pooch, its inherent temperament, and even the background of the pet. If the dog was rescued from an abusive situation, you may not know whether the pup will respond with aggression to pain. Here are some steps that you can take to try to prevent a situation from ever getting that far.

  • Yearly veterinary exams These are a must to keep tabs on your pet’s possible physical ailments. Dogs that come down with many diseases, such as cancer, liver problems, eye disease, etc. don’t show obvious physical signs until the disease is quite advanced. Beaver recommends that you ask your veterinarian to do a complete physical exam, including blood tests, on your pet each year.
  • Treat ailments sooner rather than later If you see outward signs of sickness in your pup –scratching more than usual, a red “hotspot” on their body, or limping or crying when it jumps into the car — it’s important to have those symptoms treated as soon as possible. Ailments such as joint pain, ear infections or dental pain “can increase irritability,” Dr. Reisner says.
  • Never leave small children alone with pets Pet owners need to constantly supervise whenever youngsters and pets are together. “Little kids don’t mean to hurt, but they don’t think. They may do things that scare or hurt the dog,” Dr. Beaver says. Petting from a child may feel like slapping to the dog. And kids screaming and yelling may even frighten a pooch. “Even the most loving, trusting dog in certain situations can react,” Dr. Beaver says.
  • Dogs should always have a quiet place to go Your home should have a place where the dog can go to escape noise, children, and other potential annoyances — but especially when it’s ill. This may be created by putting up a dog gate or by placing a dog bed in a quiet area of the basement. Make the quiet place warm, cozy and easily accessible for a sick pup. Dogs with arthritis may be uncomfortable lying down outside or on a cold floor. Similarly, walking up and down stairs to get to their escape place might be difficult.

Reisner says that her research on children who are bitten by dogs holds some important messages for dog owners — and parents, in particular. Illness can increase the risk of aggressive behavior in dogs, even those with no predisposition to aggression. “When they’re not feeling well, they need to be treated with some extra caution,” she says. “Leave a dog alone if it’s setting itself apart or moves away to the other side of the room. Don’t let a child interact with the dog. And, if the child is too young to listen to those guidelines, put up a gate.” Both dog and child may not appreciate the temporary solution, but they’ll be better off because of it.

French Bulldog Trip Essentials

French Bulldog Trip Essentials

Betty Horner, a grandmother of seven in Middleburg, Va., has been bringing pets on family road trips since before some of her kids could walk. “It used to be that the dogs could only come if we were camping out or going to the beach house,” says Horner. “Now, if we want to, we can take our dogs to the Four Seasons.”

  • For many families, a vacation is no longer a vacation without their dog present. But bringing a dog along requires serious consideration, from deciding on your mode of transportation to determining where to stay and what to do. Following are 10 things your need to do before you bring your dog on your next trip.
  • 1. Choose your lodging carefully
    When choosing a hotel, take time to find out what the pet policies are. Many hotels have weight limits; some have breed restrictions and most require advance reservations. Most hotels post pet policies on their Web site, but it’s a good idea to review the rules when you make your reservation so there are no surprises later.
  • Also, be sure you know the rules once you arrive. Len Kain, vice president of marketing at DogFriendly, says, “Don’t assume you can sit in the lobby and have a drink with your dog or play chess with your dog.” Most hotels provide pet owners with a list of rules upon check in. If you don’t receive a list, when in doubt, ask about the hotel’s policies.
  • 2. Getting there — plane, train, automobile or bus?
    If you plan to travel with your dog in tow, you can cross Amtrak and Greyhound off of your list of transportation options, since the only canines permitted are service dogs.
  • Driving is certainly the most conducive to bringing a dog because you are in control and you are still in your own environment. When it comes to pit stops, however, you need more than just a clean bathroom. Plan your stops in areas where you can safely walk your leashed dog.
  • 3. Keeping your dog safe in the air
    Air travel is complicated enough and when you add a dog to the mix, it can get downright crazy. With a little advance planning, though, it is doable. Horner, who only flies with her small dogs, which can fit under the seat, says, “There are a lot of factors to consider when you bring your dog on the plane. I only fly direct and I dread delays even more so than usual.”
  • Whether your dog is small enough to travel in the cabin or is relegated to the cargo section, the airlines have strict guidelines for flying with a pet, especially when it comes to kenneling, as well as feeding and watering your dog prior to departure. It is imperative that you follow all instructions to help ensure a safe journey for your pet and fellow passengers. You can find pet policies on most airline Web sites or by calling the airline’s customer service number.
  • 4. Get a health certificate and refill any meds
    If you are flying, you are required to present a health certificate signed by your veterinarian when you check in. This document certifies that your dog is current on all vaccinations and is fit to travel. Be sure to keep this piece of paper in a safe place with your other travel documents. While you are at your veterinarian’s office, also stock up on any medications your dog will require while you are both away from home.
  • 5. Prep your pup for your trip
    According to Kain, “You should orient your dog to traveling prior to your trip. If the only place you take your dog in the car is to the veterinarian’s office, your dog is not going to like the car. Start taking your dog places that are fun for your dog.” Additionally, if you are planning an active vacation, make sure your dog is in top condition. After getting a clear bill of health from your veterinarian, try going on long walks, runs or hikes with your dog to prep your pet. If you know you are going to encounter crowds on your trip, make sure your dog is comfortable around people by taking it with you to parks and other dog-friendly places where you can test your pup’s people skills.
  • 6. Stick with your dog’s usual food and water
    While you may be ready to sample the local cuisine, your dog is used to eating the same food every day and will be dealing with enough excitement without a sudden change in diet.
  • To prevent diarrhea, it is a good idea to bring water from home or try buying filtered water at your destination. “We’ve been taking our dogs to the beach for almost thirty years,” Horner says. “It took a couple of years before I realized that bringing water from home prevented an awful lot of stomach problems and messes.”
  • 7. Make sure your dog has a collar with current ID tag
    If you and your dog should become separated, you want to do everything possible to ensure a quick reunion. The best way to do this is to securely attach a current contact number to your dog’s collar. You may also want to talk to your veterinarian about implanting a microchip in your dog, since collars and ID tags can fall off.
  • 8. Bring a leash
    Your dog may be perfectly trained off leash, but according to Kain, using a leash is a good idea when “your dog is in an environment not his own and is exposed to new scents.” In addition to protecting your dog, a leash provides a sense of security to people around you who may be fearful of dogs. Also note that some places, mainly in the United States, have leash laws requiring you to keep your puppy on its leash at all times while in public.
  • 9. Bring your dog’s bed or crate and a favorite toy
    If you have children, you appreciate the importance of packing your child’s security blanket. The same goes for dogs that will be much more relaxed if they have their own bed with all its familiar lumps and scents. Also, be sure to pack enough toys to keep your dog entertained.
  • If your pooch is crate trained, seriously consider bringing its crate. Many hotels require that dogs be crated when left alone in the room.
  • 10. Know when to leave your pup at home
    When all is said and done, if your dog is going to spend the entire vacation cooped up in a hotel room alone, or if your dog is antisocial, aggressive, or anxious in new situations, then your dog may be better off at home with a pet sitter. With a little forethought, a solid plan and some common sense, however, there is no reason your dog can’t take part in your next adventure.

French Bulldog Probiotic

French Bulldog  Probiotic

Probiotic supplements are everywhere. You might be taking one. Should your dog?

Nutritional supplements containing live microorganisms (bacteria and/or yeast) that aim to improve health can be considered probiotics. They are typically used to improve the workings of the gastrointestinal tract, and they certainly do play an important role in this regard.

Consider a dog with diarrhea, for example. Whatever the cause—stress, dietary indiscretion, infection, antibiotic therapy—the diarrhea will sometimes persist even after the initial problem has resolved. The blame often lies with an imbalance between two categories of gut microorganisms:

  • those that promote normal, healthy gastrointestinal function
  • those that secrete toxins or are otherwise disruptive when they are present in larger than normal numbers

Probiotics are essentially a way of boosting the number of “good” microorganisms present in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby helping them to out-compete the “bad” ones.

  • It also appears that probiotics can improve canine health in other ways: They seem to be able to beneficially modify an animal’s immune function.
  • Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation can help treat infections outside of the gastrointestinal tract as well as some allergic and inflammatory diseases. This isn’t too surprising given that a large proportion of the body’s immune system is associated with the gut. Anything that influences the immune system there could have a wide-spread benefit.
  • One of the downsides of probiotic supplementation is the fact that the microorganisms aren’t able to effectively stay and reproduce within the gastrointestinal tract for a long period of time. The noticeable benefits of probiotics tend to wane once supplementation is stopped. This isn’t a big problem if you are giving a probiotic to deal with a short-lived problem—say diarrhea associated with antibiotic use—but for chronic disorders, probiotic supplements often need to be given more or less continually. This can be done safely, but the expense and inconvenience may eventually become an issue.

Three strategies are helpful if you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Many people have found that when taking probiotics themselves, they can eventually move to an every-other-day or even less frequent dosing schedule. The same is probably true for dogs.I recommend following the instructions on your dog’s probiotic supplement for at least a month or two to determine what the maximal benefits might be. Then play around a bit to see if you can get away with giving it every other day or just a couple of times a week.
  2. Consider adding a prebiotic supplement to your dog’s diet. Prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients that support the growth of probiotic microorganisms. Think of prebiotics as a way to preferentially feed the “good” microorganisms in the gut, giving them a potential advantage in their competition with the “bad” microorganisms.Fructo-oligosaccharides, beet pulp, chicory, arabinogalactan, and inulin are all commonly used prebiotics for dogs.
  3. If you can identify and address the underlying cause of your dog’s symptoms (e.g., poor diet, gastrointestinal or immune disorders, chronic stress, etc.) you may find that probiotic supplementation is no lo

French Bulldog Allergy Treatments and Prevention

French Bulldog Allergy Treatments and Prevention

What are some of the symptoms of allergies?

•Hot Spots, also called “Moist Dermatitis” (flaming red bouts of skin with moist puss coming out)
•Hives & Bumps
•Constantly Itching (that is not flea related)
•Swollen and Watering Eyes (so much that they never stop)
•Chronic Ear Infections
•Constant Paw Licking
•Butt Twirling or Scooting (They are trying to reach an itch, this can also be anal glands needing to be expressed)
•Face Rubbing on Furniture/Carpeting
•Constantly Stinks, Baths Don’t Help Much (this can also be yeast infection)
•Interdigital Cysts Between Toes
•Swollen, Puffy, Red, Bloodshot Eyes
•Chronic Wrinkle Inflammation
•Abundance of Yeast Growth

There are many different allergy sources. Allergens are quite literally EVERYWHERE. Here are some different allergy types so you can start approaching this with an open mind.

  • ENVIRONMENTALThe most common allergies that effect most of us, humans and canines alike, are environmental. The dust mites blowing out of your AC vent. The flowers in bloom outdoors. Freshly cut grass. Many of these allergens are literally floating in the air we breathe. There is no escaping these allergens, only surviving them. Daily allergy medication will help combat these allergies. You can take steps to keep your home as dust and allergen free as possible with vacuuming, changing out your air filters, dust mite/bed bug covers, etc.
  • FOOD ALLERGIESWith all the bad ingredients found in many low grade pet foods, our pets are reacting not only to what it is in these foods but where they get their ingredients sourced from. Many times, a high quality diet can cure almost all of your bullies allergy problems. However, many times a limited ingredient diet, raw or home cooked, may become necessary. These diets can help identify food allergies much faster because you only have a certain number of ingredients to look at. For many Frenchie owners, finding the right food has changed their lives for the better. I cannot stress the importance of “Finding the right food” for your Frenchie. Even those Frenchies with severe allergy problems have found so much relief in a high quality, immune boosting diet. We will discuss the importance of diet further in this article so please continue reading.
  • CONTACT ALLERGIESWhile most allergies are usually divided into just two groups, I decided that Contact Allergies should be in a whole category of its own. While contact allergies are environmental, these actually come into contact with the skin so they can be avoided unlike other environmental allergies that cannot be avoided. Contact allergies are EVERYWHERE! Grass, bushes, blankets, bowls, beds, and even their crate and can be just about anything. If your Frenchie has a sudden outbreak of the itchies or hives, look around. Have they come into contact with something new?Let me give you some examples to open your mind to the possibilities:•Have you recently cleaned your floors with a new cleaner?
    •Have you bought any new toys?
    •Did you change your laundry detergent/fabric softener?
    •Did you buy a new floor rug?
    •Have you had your carpets cleaned?
    •Have you used any topical flea treatments?
  • TREATMENTThere are many different ways to treat allergies; it is important to go over the many different treatment options with your Vet. Don’t let them give you a package of pills and send you on your way. This only guarantees your Frenchie another vet visit next month, is only temporary relief, and just masks the source of the problem which will likely just return.If your Frenchie has been itching nonstop and you are finding hives, open sores and/or hair loss, you will likely need a trip to the vet. Many times the constant itching can cause skin infections that will need to be treated with antibiotics.
  • Steroids – Steroids should only be used as a temporary relief. Many vets may call this an “Allergy Shot.” Beware of this terminology because knowing what is in this miracle shot is important. Make sure you ask! Long term usage of steroid pills in smaller doses is not completely uncommon, but you should discuss the risks of using this type of treatment.
  • Antibiotics – Antibiotics are one of the number one things prescribed to you by your vet. Antibiotics are wonderful, but most kill broad spectrum bacteria which means they also kill the GOOD bacteria, as well as the BAD bacteria in the body. It is important to give Probiotics when giving antibiotics to help replenish the good bacteria. A spoonful of plain yogurt in each meal is a great way to give daily probiotics.
  • Allergy Testing – There are different allergy tests out there, and many vets don’t really seem to want to do these tests because they are not 100% accurate and can produce false positives and negatives. Depending on the type of test will depend on the accuracy. In my personal opinion, it is better to know something than to know nothing at all. Keep in mind that some of your test results may not be perfect, at least it will give you an idea of the allergens that are clearly effecting your pet. There is usually a scale that comes with the testing, saying which are ‘borderline’ and which are ‘severe.’
  • It is also important to know that if you get allergy testing done before they are over 1 year old, you really should get another test done after one year. It takes a full year of life to develop antibodies that fight allergens, and their bodies must be exposed to different allergens of all the four seasons.
  • NuVet Plus Supplement – Nuvet has pages and pages of testimonials regarding how it has saved their pet from a lifetime of allergy problems, tear stains, lethargy, itching, ect. NuVet Plus is an immune system booster and will help not only with allergies but many other health problems.
  • Allergy Shots – Allergy shots can be specially produced according to what your allergy test above reveals. You are trying to build up an immunity to what they are allergic to specifically, but this is a slow process and you may not see any results for a full year. This is no miracle cure, but it is worth the time and effort for the possibility of some relief.
  • Cyclosporine/Atopica – Cyclosporine should be a last ditch effort to allergy treatments. There are many noted side effects, but this has also been the ‘wonder drug’ for many pets with severe allergies.
  • Natural Remedies – There are many natural remedy choices for helping with allergies. These are not as broadly used because Veterinarians don’t sell or market them. One that was discussed recently on our forum is worth trying, it’s called “Yucca Intensive.” Yucca Intensive is an outstanding, safe, all-natural supplement that is given for a number of reasons, including the joints, skin, and digestion. Yucca is a purified extract derived from the Yucca plant, which is thought to promote symptom relief similar to steroid medications with none of the side effects.
  • Daily Antihistamine – Besides over the counter Benadryl, there are many other daily allergy medications. Zyrtec, Claritin, Hydroxyzine, and many more. Pets react differently to different antihistamines so you may have to try a few out to find out which works best for your Frenchie.
  • “Prescription Diet” – In some cases, prescription diets can help. For most Frenchies however, this should be something you turn and run from in the other direction as fast as you can! These diets are full of bad ingredients and are not good for the long term life of your pet.There are so many high quality diets and limited ingredient diets out there that are made by good companies with excellent ingredients — for the same price per pound, if not less. There’s also the option of home cooking and/or feeding a raw diet.
  • TREATING COMMON ALLERGY FLARE UPSYEAST & BACTERIA – Yeast is a Frenchie owner’s worst enemy! Many Frenchies may be diagnosed by a Veterinarian of having allergy problems, when they actually have a yeast infection. Yeast infections are commonly caused by allergies, they seem to go hand-in-hand in most cases, especially in Frenchies. If yeast makes its way into your pet’s ears, wrinkles, tail pocket, vaginal fold, nose ropes, or any other warm cozy and moist areas, it can grow and spread quickly.
  • So what does yeast look like? Well, that is a difficult answer. Many Frenchie owners may describe it as a dark brown-reddish substance. However, a culture of that “substance” may bring back different forms of bacteria and fungus, as it is not likely that it is only yeast overgrowth. Us Frenchie owners know it looks bad, smells awful, and itches. Unless you get a culture done at your vet you will not knowexactly what you are dealing with. This is why it is a good idea to treat and maintain with products that kill both fungus and bacteria.